Author Archives: Matthew Sorrento

Matthew Sorrento

Matthew Sorrento edits the film section of Identity Theory and is a regular contributor to the web magazine Film Threat. A observer of both good and bad cinema, he was named one of the nation's "crankiest movie critics" by the L.A. Times in 2007. He teaches English at Camden County College and lectures on film at Rutgers University in Camden, N.J. Email him at film@identitytheory.com.

Fassbinder “Wired” into Speculative Fiction

Beneath all science fiction lies a dilemma, one solved by the best storytellers: whether the speculative devices are more interesting than the characters created to experience them.

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Jeffrey Ford: Tribute to a Mentor

Even students who love writing aren’t thrilled about first-year composition. If not taught well, the classwork and assignments feel routine, like practice with no chance for game time.

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The Freestyle Art of Suzuki – Branded to Kill (1967) and Toyko Drifter (1966)

Suzuki's Branded to Kill

Suzuki’s approach adheres to Godard’s dictum that all one needs for a movie is a girl and a gun.

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Further Thoughts on Howard Hawks’ Scarface (and In Praise of Robin Wood)

Howard Hughes Scarface

As Wood noted frequently, genre is largely based on ideology; it’s fostered through popular entertainment and in the film, directly stated by the chief.

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Black Death, Lost in its Own Darkness

Black Death

As in life, some promises are hard to keep onscreen. This is true in the case of Walter Hill’s cult pic The Warriors.

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Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead…Until a Second Act Prize

Fat Sick and Nearly Dead Filmmakers

The food science/health documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead makes the filmmaker-subject motif – in which the man behind the camera spends as much time in front of it – appear to be the norm.

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Director Alexander Payne Retrospective in Philadelphia

Sadly, it’s been a while for Alexander Payne.

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The Casual Other: Behind Minor John Hughes

Great Outdoors

John Hughes’ rise has been well documented.

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A Dark Moment For Louis Malle: Black Moon on DVD

Black Moon

A Fellini moment was due for a journeyman director like Louis Malle.

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Review: The Names of Love

Names of Love

Picture this: a secluded scientist waits in a checkout line for his new love interest to return with an item. An unusual pickup for him, she had invaded his radio interview about bird flu (he’s an expert) and then asked him to bed when they had drinks.

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Review: Page One: Inside the New York Times

Page One Ny Times

Andrew Rossi’s Page One: Inside the NYTimes looks to newspapers long past their heydey.

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DVD REVIEW: Some Old Truths: True Grit and The Fighter

True Grit

Many recent films have brought historical verity to narratives clouded in myth.

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Review: L’Amour Fou

L'Amour Fou

Those who love hearing fashion discussed as serious art will love this documentary, a portrait of the late iconic French designer, Yves Saint Laurent.

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A Really Irritable Dream: Scorsese’s "Shutter Island"

De Niro’s long since served as an inspiration to Scorsese – it now appears that the paycheck is the actor’s main motivation. He hasn’t worked for the filmmaker since the 1990s, when the former starred in the powerfully creepy remake of “Cape Fear.” In this film, the director tributed classic crime with a modern, more […]

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An "Extraordinary" Journey for Brendan Fraser

You really can’t blame the guy: when asked about his career, Brendan Fraser ducks the question like “Encino Man” diving into the nearest cave. “The science of chaos rules [my] decisions,” the 41-year-old actor remarked, when the question surfaced during a recent Philadelphia round table. Showing a knack for low comedy as early as “Encino,” […]

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